5 Things To Know About Tequila
You may only know one thing about tequila and is that it's the drink you need to do shots with where you lick salt, down the tequila and stick a lemon in your mouth. It may also conjure up some images of a drunken night with friends and a killer hangover the next day. What you may not know is that this popular drink from Mexico is rich in history and has some interesting facts surrounding the way it is made.
5 Things to Know About Tequila
Like fine champagne, tequila can only be made in certain regions and is under strict guidelines for quality and purity. Tequila drinks are specially made with this fine beverage and can be made yourself or sold as premixed drinks with tequila.
Made From Mostly Blue Agave Plant to Be Classified as Tequila
If your tequila is not 51% blue agave then it cannot be called tequila. Some manufacturers will make it with 100% blue agave and will boast this on the bottle, charging more than other tequilas that are mixed with 51% blue agave. The bottles of our tequila are much more expensive than the mixed. When you are purchasing premade margarita drinks and premade tequila cocktails, chances are you are purchasing those with 51% blue agave.
Tequila Takes a Long Time to Make
The blue agave plants can take up to 12 years to grow and harvest and they can get up to 7 feet tall. This succulent is a labor of love because it takes so long to harvest and really requires a commitment from those who manufacture tequila. In a classic margarita, the quality of the tequila is from years of care and commitment.
Only the Agave Heart is Used to Make Tequila.
When it takes so long to cultivate an ingredient, you would hope that you could regrow from the same plant. Unfortunately, once the agave is grown, only the heart is used to make tequila so a new plant must be grown in its place. These hearts are cut out of the agave, cooked, ground into a fine powder and then fermented. This is the process of making tequila. The professionals behind making pre made margarita cocktails use this tequila to put together the premixed drinks.
There Are 5 Categories of Tequila
The categories of tequila have to do with the ageing process of tequila. There are five different types:
A Blanco can also be called a silver tequila or a plate and images for up to 60 days. Most of the time the Blanco skips the ageing process and goes from the still to the tank to the bottle. Blancos are see-through because they skip the ageing process and taste crisp and fresh. When you are looking at mixing your own cocktails or buying premixed ones, Blanco is the tequila that goes the best for cocktails.
Reposado or rested, ages for up to 11 months in a barrel. This is the most common of tequilas drunk in Mexico and if a recipe calls for Blanco, you can easily replace it with reposado. This type of tequila has a warm flavor and makes for a smoother cocktail.
Añejo means old and this is one of the longest ageing processes for tequila. Añejo tequila is aged for up to three years in a barrel made of oak. The ex-American and French Oak barrels are used the most to age this tequila, although any type of barrel will do. The tequila carries vanilla and brown sugar flavors because of the barrel it ages in and it is meant to be sipped, not chugged or taken in a shot.
Extra Añejo is aged for no less than three years and it is rested in more than one type of barrel. It has the most complex flavor because it spends so much time in wood and is considered a premium tequila. The price of this tequila reflects the care and time placed into this extra-aged tequila.
Cristalino may be a new fad that is taking all the clubs by storm in that it removes all the color from the tequila to make it look like a Blanco but it is filtered through charcoal to remove the tannins. It is supposed to be a smoother taste, but we will let you be the judge.
Tequila has a rich history in Mexico and whether you are looking at a Blanco for your Margarita or looking to sip on your extra Añejo the quality is always there.